Because if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.
Having a website is great. You should have one. But a good website, a strategic website, is one that is designed to convert your website visitors into customers. We want your website to do that. But how do we know if it’s working? We don’t, unless we measure it.
That’s why Google Analytics is so important. If you don’t know what people are doing when they land on your site, then you can’t make changes to your site to improve it.
Websites now are so different than the websites we were making back in 2006. Those websites were the set it and forget it, they didn’t get updated, they weren’t measuring traffic, and we certainly didn’t know anything about conversions. Your website was just your online business card.
That is no longer the case. As many as 82% of people will research your business online before they call you to schedule a consultation. What does your website say to them?
If you aren’t using analytics, then you don’t really know how people are responding to your website.
What about asking people?
You can definitely ask and get feedback from folks about your website, but one of the problems with this method is that people lie. I’m not here to call people outright liars, but the truth is (ha) if the people you are asking are your friends and family, they might not be totally forthright with you about what they think. Because the people who love us, tend to want to tell us positive things. I have a dear friend who started up a side business and he wanted to make his own website. Afterward, he asked me what I thought. And truthfully, it was awful. (I’m pretty opinionated about websites.) But I didn’t tell him that because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.
Additionally, your friends and family aren’t your ideal customers. They probably won’t interact with your website the way a customer would. They probably already know about you and your business, so they don’t have the asme questions that someone who doesn’t know you would have. So while having your friends and family evaluate and provide feedback has value, it’s not the same as using analytics.
Why not use another type of analytic program?
You can use whatever type of analytics that you like and works. I choose Google Analytics for a few reasons.
- It’s comprehensive. It has SO MUCH DATA. I’m a data nerd, so I like to know everything.
- It has many integrations. Using MailChimp? AdWords? Other marketing tools? Google Analytics probably integrates.
- It tracks conversions. Conversion tracking is probably one of the most useful tools in Google Analytics that people aren’t taking advantage of.
- It’s free. You got that right, it’s free to use at every level and for nearly as many websites as you need. I say nearly because there is a typical limit of 100 websites per account, but that can be adjusted if you ask.
- The ability to track data about your audience, such as age and gender, which can be really useful in segmenting your audience.
How to use Google Analytics
If you already have a Google account (and who doesn’t) setting up Analytics is easy. You just login to your Google account and go to analytics.google.com. You’ll add a new property, and Google will walk you through this process. Add your URL, tick some boxes that you agree and submit, and you’ve created your account.
A few notes about data
Your data will start being collected as soon as you put your script in, but you won’t get back data, so start collecting data as soon as possible.
Adjust your settings to retain all your data, because by default it only stores up to two years of data. That historical data is priceless.
Still need help figuring out Google Analytics? No problem, we’d love to help! Contact us today for a free quote.
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